Epilogue

Epilogue

Postby Tom Jeffries » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:27 am

Epilogue:

I was tempted to let the fifteen chapters of my Radio life, tell the tale – but I knew, that there were a few more things I needed to say.

First off. I am living proof that if you want something bad enough, you will have some modicum of good things happen for you.

I have found that there truly is a rule of karma. I worked some off, but there were hard lessons. It is truly difficult to maintain a strong pliable marriage, without a lot of love and constant work. Julie has been a special force in my life – and you can tell that I think she is special. Jared, her Son, is a man that I could only hope to be. I think I have made that clear.

But what I haven’t told you about is the agony of a business that depends on so many vagaries, and also the unpleasant fact, that of the yuppie cohort, Julie and I were some of the first victims of the new ageism. I think getting thrown away like toilet paper bespeaks volumes as to the quality of people you work for. I had done nothing but my best and was rewarded with a knife in the ribs. I am not bitter – but I want it to serve as a warning to all my brothers and sisters in Media – that you better get plan b and maybe even C – because there is a number on your forehead. Heh, Radio, as I knew it is - finito. Newspapers – that used to have grizzled columnists – and who had the magic Rolodex – are over. It’s all corporate and young, and tow the company line and make sure that these highly leveraged media companies have enough money to keep the shareholders happy and the lights on.

I worked in an industry from another Century, on it’s last legs - and now? Well – let’s see where we stand.

A couple of big companies own everything. They have the game sewed up – and you get fed the Pablum they are selling, and that’s it. The fools. The app on my cellphone – has thousands of radio stations on it. I don’t need to the same 34 songs that some cretin in Toronto, thinks worthwhile. What happened to newsrooms? They are non-existent – or they have a guy reading in the morning – a press release from the Real Estate company, that is the company’s biggest advertiser. Everything is just cozy. A few people make a killing and the staff? Who gives a damn about the staff? Chuck McCoy was a caring guy, Dale Buote, Pat St. John, Al Pascal, Walter Cownden and a few others – but most of the radio brass treated us like peons. The poor pay – the long weeks and the stingy two weeks off a year have made many people realize it wasn’t a career anymore – it’s a Mcjob. That makes the listener and the folks industry, at the worker bee level, losers. That bugs me, and now that I see it in writing, I get more steamed. The clammy hand of ßnegativity is slipping in here, and that’s enough. On balance, no one was shooting at me and I loved a lot of the people I worked with.
Being a radio announcer – means you are nothing but a filter of daily events, noise, sales, meanwhile keeping all the plates in the air at the same time. It was a job that was different every day. I worked with really smart people. I met some real characters. I saw rock and roll, up close and personal, and I want to add a few footnotes.
The opening act intro BS, I wrote about earlier. In the end I got lucky and got tight with a few fine music folk whom I came to greatly admire. In Ottawa – Bill Gauvreau, and his wife Ann, were just the best. Bill was part of the writing team of MCA’s “Octavian” and they had some solid success in Canada, in the early Seventies. Rocket Norton was drummer with a number of top Vancouver outfits, including Prism. His parties at my beloved Orestes, are the stuff of legend. New Years, 1982, would rate as right up there. We also played Bob and Doug McKenzie, in an altered state, at Orestes. Rocket is a sweet and talented man. His wife Bea is no nonsense, smart as whip babe. These people showed me the back door of music.

So did Ra McGuire, and Tommy Stewart of Trooper. The whole group, Doni Underhill, Brian Smith and Frank Ludwig, during my era – they’re very generous. We laughed our can off. Doni is a great Bass player and could make a statue smile. McGuire is a very talented and cerebral talent – and Smitty isn’t called ‘shotgun’ for nothing. Brian is a quietly brilliant axe player. We had fun.

I liked Bryan Adams from day one. Ask him about my interview skills, and run. He is a good guy. Good photographer.

Dee Lippingwell. Ms. L. is a great photographer and one of my favorite people. She has been a friend for nearly 40 years, and I hope, 40 years more.

Stephanie Woodin was my co-host at CJCH- in Halifax. I think she and her husband Sean are two sweet and ‘down home’ people, whom I respect and like a bunch. Stephanie made me look good, and we became fast friends. I have always been able to work with beautiful women, and still stay just friends. I never crossed a line. I worked with some beautiful and amazing women, even a Playboy Playmate (Heidi Sorensen) and never had problem. I would think being one lovely woman among a shark tank of men would be a full time gig, right there. You all have my respect.

Dave Watts and Bob Saint – two of my Ottawa and in Bob’s case, Toronto, too – pals. Thanks guys. These two gents are very cool broadcasters and always willing to help me. I will never be able to repay any of the good things given me. Recently Bob lost his gig at Vinyl 93 – hope it all works out. Been there, done that, Bob. Some smart broadcast company will snap you up.

In a way I hope some of the energy I put into Charity work – helped some little ones, and the less fortunate. It was incredible, that I lived to 50, much less, now 64.

Now, I can say goodbye.

I would give you ten grand for the ability to revisit a day in the 80’s again. It went by too fast BUT I have had a full and interesting shot, at a business that eats its young, but I didn’t take every shot, I could have.

Don’t make the same mistake.

Vancouver – July - 2013


In loving memory of Bruce Williams, Brian Lord, Rick Honey, Gord Robson, David Abbott, Brian “Buzz” Leboe, Don Prentice, Tom Peacock, Darryl Burlingham, Marc Chambers, and other compatriots, I had to say goodbye to, far too soon.
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Re: Epilogue

Postby tuned » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:53 pm

You are a class act. Thanks for posting this. It's sad how many radio folks have already left us...
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Re: Epilogue

Postby Tom Jeffries » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:46 pm

The people I mentioned were VERY special. Everyone of them.
I owe, literally my LIFE to the late Marc Chambers.

Marc will be one of the featured people in the first chapter of “Radio Stories” Part two.
He was one of the kindest people I ever met.

Although he left quite a few years ago, I think about Marc just about every day, and I always say “Thanks, Marc”. I can only aspire to be as fine a man as Marc (*Webber was his real last name) was.
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Re: Epilogue

Postby Muzik » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:19 pm

Thank You Tom for all your insight and experience in this crazy business.I could just read over and over everything you lived and have to say.By the way I treasure my air checks of Tom Jeffries on CFUN.I sure wish I could still tune in to your show today. Thank You Sir.
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Re: Epilogue

Postby albertaboy4life » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:16 pm

Hey, Muzik. :wave:

How about sharing some of them treasures? :salute:
Faster cars, younger women, older cheese, more money . . .
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Re: Epilogue

Postby Muzik » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:32 pm

Hey, I sure would like to in the not so distant future when I have some free time.Will do.
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Re: Epilogue

Postby Tom Jeffries » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:57 pm

I have the one air check that RadioFan kindly posted - for an entire 46 yr. career.

If you have any, and you post them, I would be grateful, mucho.
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Re: Epilogue

Postby Toomas Losin » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:06 pm

Tom Jeffries wrote:I have the one air check that RadioFan kindly posted - for an entire 46 yr. career.

If you have any, and you post them, I would be grateful, mucho.

I found a very short aircheck (all of six seconds) in my cassette tape transfers and a slightly longer one which I'm not 100% sure of. Both are from CFUN, most likely 1979.

I've uploaded them to my web site as an addendum to an essay I wrote about my experiences listening to Vancouver and Seattle radio at that time. See the links at the bottom of this page:

http://www.lenrek.net/media/seattle-radio.html

I remember having problems distinguishing some DJ voices, likely due to audio processing and a cheap radio. Listening to these two airchecks 34 years later brings back memories of that problem. So I'm not sure, is that your voice in the longer one?

My apologies that these are so short. At the time I was a wee li'l idiot who tried to edit out what I thought was kruft but now I realize that the so-called kruft was the real gold. It's funny how this is true of both OTR episodes as well as Top-40 songs: Both can be downloaded easily today but the DJ voices are lost.
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Re: Epilogue

Postby hagopian » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:22 pm

Great to hear Big Jim Hault and Cathy Baldazzi. Thanks very much.
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Re: Epilogue

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:29 pm

Heard myself on one of the commercials. 32 years later, I'm still criticizing my own skills and catch myself thinking: "Hmph. I could have done THAT one better".
"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
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Re: Epilogue

Postby Tom Jeffries » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:52 pm

I think the air check brought home the fact that 32 years go by in a nonce.

Hault gave way to Fred Latremouille....oh man, the memories.
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